||[Sep. 24th, 2007|11:43 pm]
The Blackfolk Sports Community
Is race the reason Delaware won't play Delaware State?
By Jeff Pearlman
Special to Page 2
Dear Delaware football recruit:
On behalf of alumni across the nation, I would like to congratulate you on being recruited to play football at the University of Delaware. As you know, our Blue Hens are six-time national champions and perennially one of the top Division I-AA programs in the country. We have produced dozens of NFL players, ranging from Rich Gannon and Scott Brunner to Ivory Sully and Mike Adams. With our explosive passing attack, I am confident that a wide receiver like you could thrive here.
Delaware's a I-AA national power, but it won't even play its next-door neighbor.
I also have been informed, however, that you are a student of character, decency and open-mindedness. That, more than anything, is why I am writing this letter: to urge you (and your fellow recruits) not to attend my beloved university.
That's right. Say no to the Blue Hens.
Allow me to be blunt. The University of Delaware's persistent refusal to face Delaware State University in football is cowardly, pig-headed, self-righteous and, worst of all, oozing with racism. As you might know, the two schools -- separated by a mere 50-minute drive from Newark to Dover -- are both ranked in the top 25 of Division I-AA polls. For more than 30 years now, Delaware State has tried to arrange a football game with Delaware, only to be rebuffed time after time. "Name the place and the day, and we'll be there," Rick Costello, Delaware State's athletic director, told me recently. "Delaware-Delaware State would be great for the state, for the students, for ticket sales and school spirit. It's a natural, isn't it?"
You would think so. But within the Delaware athletic department, a law has been established that the Blue Hens will never, ever, ever, ever, ever schedule the Hornets. "We're interested in exploring, but there's no flexibility," Edgar Johnson, the school's athletic director, once told me. "Anyhow, when you begin playing each other it becomes divisive."( Read more...Collapse )
Interesting fact: Delaware is probably the state in which a matchup between the white land grant/state namesake and the black land grant/state namesake makes the most sense; DE's the only state that's got both in which they each compete in the same division (IAA/FCS).